Monday, May 18, 2009

An Arms Race for Paleness

I recently acquired something after a visit to my nearest Walgreens. Surprisingly, it was not a new bottle of nude/light pink nail polish, and it was not a pair of false lashes by Ardell (which I always eye when I go to the drugstore, but never have picked up). No, it was a nice, little bottle of sunscreen by Neutrogena. For a while, I've been using up some SPF 50 generic sport sunscreen that my darling mother got me a while back because she knew what a sunscreen fiend I was. But that supply has been coming to an end, and I decided to splurge on a newer sunscreen. After I run out of this, I might make the leap into, say, a Shiseido or Clinique sunscreen (the former of which is supposed to have great mattifying properties), but for now, this is quite the find.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw Neutrogena's new SPF 100+ sunscreen. I had heard about the Neutrogena brand of sunscreen before, and while I had heard that it left somewhat of a white cast and that it caused makeup to pill, I let my more rash side get the better of me and purchased the sunscreen. And I'm quite glad I did.

Then, I got home, and began to think. If this sunscreen was just as expensive as, say, the SPF 85, while all the other sunscreens increased in price as the SPF got higher, was Neutrogena just scamming me and pretending like this provided me extra SPF when really it didn't? Did I really need SPF 100 or would anything above 50 be okay? After doing some Internet browsing, it seems like I didn't make such a bad purchase after all. According to this article from Allure, anything above SPF 30 is for those that burn quite easily, indicating that while the differences may get smaller as the SPF gets higher, there's still a difference. And me and my unquestionable love for sunscreen will pay for an extra little bit of help...I am, after all, familiar with the concept of diminishing marginal utility.

So my recommendation? I'd say give this a try. The SPF 100 makes me feel good, and probably helps me stay nice and protected from the sun at least somewhat. I haven't found that it causes makeup to pill or anything, but I don't really use a lot of products. I put this first, and then just a really really light dabbing of foundation in areas that need it and then some concealer. Sometimes I add some smudgy eyeliner. So if you wear more complex makeup you may want to be more cautious. Other than that, this was worth the $13 for me.

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